OK, I am a Catholic and I am planning to stay a Catholic. That said, the vileness in Tuam and the dismissiveness of both the clergy and the order of nuns is obscene and sickening. If the Irish state has even the semblance of a backbone it will pursue this case vigorously, identify the guilty, name names and prosecute anyone who had criminal involvement. Do you think they will? No, me neither.
But Catholicism is not defined by the actions of an individual be they pope or pauper. Catholicism is a set of principles and of standards which adherents have failed to live up to since the inception of Christianity. I truly believe that Judas Iscariot believed his actions were righteous.
The church establishment has warped and twisted and undermined the Christian message for hundreds of years. But you know what? Screw the church establishment. My Catholicism resides in the goodness, decency and sanctity of my fellow Catholics, the ones who care for the vulnerable, stand up for the friendless, and speak out for what they believe to be right. I fail on a daily basis, I'm a shit Catholic. Knowing that I weep when I see the church powerful crap on decency - not Catholic decency, just ordinary, common, human decency.
Tuam, abuse of children by priests, collaboration with the nazis by the Vatican, the Magdalen laundries, the use of Catholicism to veil a thousand acts of wickedness - these are all vile and indefensible. But they are the actions of fallible people. The standards and principles of Catholicism condemn them far more than any human agency can.
When you attack someone like Joe Offer for his beliefs you are looking 180 degrees in the wrong direction. I suspect that his grief and pain regarding Tuam is more raw and painful than yours because of his loyalty to a faith that has been besmirched by others, and yet he still seeks to live out that faith, truly and honourably.
Joe, I am sorry if I misrepresent you.